Sunday 18 February 2018

Marketing People: Delores Madden

Marketing director, Hidden Hearing

Dolores Madden
Dolores Madden Newsdesk

With 145 staff operating from 75 clinics around the country, Hidden Hearing is Ireland’s largest hearing-care solutions provider. Screening over 60,000 people a year, the company is ultimately owned by Copenhagen-headquartered William Demant. Marketing director Dolores Madden talks to John McGee about her marketing challenges.

How big is the hearing care market in Ireland?

Estimates from the HSE suggest that more than 17pc — one in five — people in Ireland suffer from hearing loss but the sad thing is only 12pc get treated. The European average is 18.5pc. Unfortunately, hearing aids still carry some sort of stigma, which puts people off. We’re on a mission to tackle this —we believe quality of life is important.

What are the trends in the marketplace?

There’s a couple of key trends having an impact on the market. Like every category, technology is having an impact. Another positive trend is people living longer and healthier lives than ever before. This is great but, in reality, a lot of people over 55 still feel a bit of stigma wearing a hearing aid. We’re trying to fix that.

What are your marketing challenges?

Our marketing challenges are simple but complex. We want to get as many people suffering from hearing difficulties treated. It’s that simple. The challenge is overcoming some of the perceived barriers stopping people from getting solutions.

How do you overcome them?

Our role is to inspire and enable people with hearing difficulties to live a full and uncompromised life.

The brand will help to inspire, while the hearing aid will help to enable. Awareness, education and information are key to changing perceptions and we focus a lot of our efforts on this. If we can show people the full uncompromised life they can live when they address their hearing, we can start them on a journey to seek a solution.

What specific marketing initiatives are under way?

I have two concurrent strands running. Firstly I have to ensure the brand story and issue of hearing loss continues to penetrate the public awareness.

Secondly, however, you need to ensure you are delivering appointments to the clinics and targets are met. I plan annually, execute monthly and measure weekly. We have set KPIs to ensure we get the best return on investment for our campaigns.

I have a number of marketing initiatives that help to tackle our challenges. We run and promote really accessible clinics in 75 locations around the country and we provide free sample hearing aids so people can get used to the idea and we also have a team of expert professionals to provide the right information for people who are unsure.

We are very proud to own Hearing Awareness Week which I launched in 2007 and Hidden Hearing Heroes Award which I have had since 2011. These community campaigns are a huge part of our marketing plans.

Sunday Indo Business

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